Collaborative Pianist/Vocal Coach, (Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University)
Born in Seoul, Korea, Saffron Y. Chung now considers New York City her home. She chose her path in music early at Oberlin College, where she was the first recipient of a double major in Piano Performance and Vocal Accompanying. She also has Masters of Music in Accompanying from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
For many years, Saffron has worked as an assistant conductor, vocal coach, accompanist, preparing hundreds of singers for auditions, concerts, opera performances and recitals. She is a former Adjunct Faculty in Accompanying at William Paterson State University, and a former staff accompanist at Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes School of Music. She led a workshop of Brahms lieder for the voice department at Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. Then, participated in an admission audition tour to Beijing Conservatory to help select two singers for the full scholarship spot at the HKAPA. She has given a seminar for the graduate Accompanying majors at Hansei University in Korea, and is currently working with the Opera Department at Rutgers University preparing Midsummer Night’s Dream by Britten.
She was a guest artist of the Atelier Concert Series, Paris, France, where she performed an art song recital with mezzo soprano, Julie Devere, in a program of all American living composers works. Her current projects include a professional solo piano recording that is a collection of transcriptions and arrangements of art songs, to be released in 2022.
Canadian pianist Martin Néron is on the faculty at Westminster Choir College and is a virtual music instructor at Shanti Bhavan, a boarding school for children from India's lowest socioeconomic class located in Tamil Nadu. He has held residencies at Tennessee TU and Fundación Armonía (Ecuador), and presented masterclasses at Butler University, Washington and Ohio State University, TCNJ, Hunter College, NATS, Arte Lirico, and Universidad Centraldel Ecuador. He was invited to hold residency at University of Kentucky in February 2022, where he will curate their first Art Song Festival, featuring exclusively Latin American repertoire. He is founder and artistic director of the Vocalis Consort, an ensemble which strives to showcase vocal works that have been traditionally overlooked in addition to excelling in performing the core of the mélodie and Lied repertoire. In 2021 he successfully designed and managed the first Canto Latino Online International Competition, a competition which specifically features and promotes vocal repertoire from Latin America. Martin has been on the faculty at the Taos Opera Institute (2019-2021), and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Joy in Singing Foundation, serving as Vice President between 2017 and 2019. He is co-founder, co-artistic director, and Vice-President of the newly incorporated Federation of the Art Song. Praised as “an attentive partner” (Opera News), Martin has recorded albums of French, Greek, British, and American songs. His scholarly work is frequently featured in the Journal of Singing. His book, Francis Poulenc: Selected Song Texts, was published by Leyerle in 2010. He holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (DMA), Westminster Choir College (MM), and Université de Montréal (BM).
Dr. Lisabeth Miller
Co-Artist Director/Vocal Faculty, (The Hartt School, University of Hartford)
Dr. Lisabeth Miller is an artist teacher of voice at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, where she teaches applied voice lessons to undergraduate and graduate voice majors, as well as in the Hartt Community Division. She also teaches both French and German vocal literature. During the summer, she serves on the voice faculty and as conductor of the chamber choir at New England Music Camp. Dr. Miller is the director of music at Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and artistic director of Hartford Opera Theater.
In addition to teaching, Lisabeth Miller is a professional lyric soprano, sought after for her musically sensitive and dramatically compelling performances of diverse repertoire on both the opera and concert stages. In recent seasons she has been featured as a soloist with the Farmington Valley Symphony, the Farmington Valley Chorale, the Manchester Symphony and Chorale, the Nutmeg Symphony and Waterbury Chorale, Con Brio Choral Society, the Shoreline Chorale, and the University of Connecticut Festival Chorus. Miller has sung both leading and comprimario roles with companies throughout Connecticut; she has been seen on the stages of Opera Connecticut, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Hillhouse Opera, Hartford Opera Theater, and the University of Connecticut Opera Theater. Recently performed roles include the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, First Lady in The Magic Flute, and the title role in Handel’s Alcina. Next up for Miller is her first performance of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville, Summer 1915” with the Farmington Valley Symphony,
A skilled interpreter of traditional repertoire, Miller is also a specialist in contemporary music. She has consistently been featured in Hartford Opera Theater’s New in November series. In 2017, Miller sang the roles of Donna, Holly, and Jennifer in the world premiere of David Wolfson’s The Faith Operas with Hartford Opera Theater, and has also performed works by Tom Cipullo, Steven Serpa, Chen Zhangyi, and Daniel Morel.
Dr. Miller earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Connecticut as a student of vocal pedagogy authority Dr. Constance Rock and Willie Anthony Waters. Her dissertation is entitled "A Lyric Soprano in Handel's London: A Vocal Portrait of Francesca Cuzzoni." She also holds a master of music degree in voice performance from the Hartt School of Music and a B.A. in music from Brandeis University. Please visit www.lisabethmiller.com for information about upcoming performances.
Dr. Christopher Sierra
Co-Artistic Director/Vocal Faculty, (Longy School of Music of Bard College, The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam)
Peruvian-American tenor Christopher Sierra is recognized for his artistic sensitivity and versatility in repertoire ranging from recital, opera, and oratorio. He has performed with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States, some of which include Opera Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, Opera New Jersey, Spoleto Festival USA, New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Princeton Festival Opera, Long Island Opera, and the United Nations Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Sierra has also made solo debuts in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and India.
On the concert stage, Dr. Sierra has performed works such as Bernstein’s Songfest, Schumann’s Spanisches Liederspiel, Britten’s Les Illuminations, Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walzer, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, and Schubert’s Mass in G. Most recently, he was invited to sing the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and was a featured soloist in Peter Bjerring’s Song of the Salish Chief at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center.
An avid recitalist, Dr. Sierra is a founding member of the Vocalis Consort, an ensemble dedicated to exposing audiences to song recitals that extend beyond the traditional Western European canon. In 2019, he was invited to perform a residency recital that celebrates the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic composers at Lewis-Clark State College and he presented mélodies by Henri Duparc at the 2018 College Music Society Pacific Northwest Regional Conference.
As a recording artist, Dr. Sierra can be heard on The Flower of Beauty (2009) with the Westminster Choir, Landscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer (2008) with Anam Cara, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Volume 2 (2007) with the Grammy-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices. He has sung under the baton of Pierre Boulez, Leon Botstein, Christoph Eschenbach, Ton Koopman, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, David Robertson, John Rutter, Emmanuel Villaume, John Adams, and Franz Welser-Möst during his tenure with the Westminster Symphonic Choir, MidAmerica Productions, and the New York City MasterVoices.
Dr. Sierra is on faculty at Longy School of Music, where his responsibilities include teaching courses in the Vocal Studies Department and Masters of Music Education Program. He is also currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice at The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he teaches courses in lyric diction, vocal pedagogy, and applied voice lessons. Dr. Sierra holds a doctorate of musical arts degree in voice performance from Rutgers University, a master of education degree in music education from Columbia University, a master of music degree in classical voice performance from Manhattan School of Music, and bachelor of music degrees in music education and voice performance from Westminster Choir College.